More than a decade has passed since the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) designated September 8 as World Physical Therapy Day—a day to celebrate, unify, and support the physical therapy profession worldwide. Launched in 1996, World PT Day raises awareness about the positive impact physical therapy has on local communities across the globe as well as society as a whole.'
The theme for this year’s World PT Day is “Fit to Take Part.” Specifically, the theme focuses on how PT can help disabled patients achieve independence and play a more active role in society. It highlights perfectly how physical therapists—experts in movement—can create a special synergy of focused care and functional expertise to help rehabilitate those faced with disabilities.
The physical therapy industry still has a need for strong advocates of the profession. As a therapist, you know there are plenty of people out there who’ve benefited from your expertise. These people can absolutely be your advocates, but it’s up to you to start the conversation, and social media is a perfect platform to do just that. Plus, if you’ve yet to take the plunge into advocating for your profession online, World PT Day is the perfect time to make your debut. After all, social media plays a larger role every year in the global PT conversation. Furthermore, social media has a big perk—it’s easy to get plugged in and participate. It can be as easy as a Facebook post or a retweet.
Have a great idea or a fun event planned? Take a video and send it directly to the WCPT on YouTube. You can also see what other physical therapists are doing by visiting the WCPT’s Facebook page or following along on Twitter using #WorldPTDay. WebPT recently launched a fill-in-the-blank and retweet Twitter campaign in honor of World PT day: “I’m a physical therapist. I can help you ___.”
Not big on social? Well, you could take it to the streets like I-OM did in 2013, when they went outside of their clinic (literally) and opened up a conversation with the general public to spread awareness about how physical therapists can help relieve pain and prevent and rehabilitate injuries. Whether your awareness efforts live online, in your clinic, or out on streets, we want to hear about them in the comments below.
Need more tools? The WCPT has provided a toolkit for promoting World PT Day; get it here. The toolkit includes some great social links, booklets, and logos so you can hit the ground running.
We can’t wait to see how you celebrate and advocate for physical therapy. Happy World PT Day 2014!